Today is my 666th post on this blog. Weird for so many reasons. Andrea suggested that on this day, I should blog about the Antichrist. Why not, right? So here goes …
Since the beginning, Satan has orchestrated evil schemes in order to overcome the plan and will of God. He’s worked in the past, works in the present and will work in the future.
- Satan attacks the truth of God. It’s his oldest trick. He tempted Eve to sin by leading her in disbelief of God’s command to not eat from the tree. He asked, “Has God really said?” (Gen 3:1). Sin was escorted into the world by an attack on God’s Word.
- Satan instills doubt for the validity of God’s Word. He likes to question the authority and integrity of our Word.
- Satan attacks God’s program in this world by spreading false religions, doctrine and teachers. His strategy is to replace true religion and truth with false ones. Paul admonished the Church in Colossae, “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Col 2:8). Paul warned Timothy, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” (I Tim 4:1). In his next epistle to the young pastor Timothy, he wrote, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (II Tim 4:3-4). Peter warns in his 2nd Epistle, “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction” (II Pet 2:1).
- Satan attacks the people of God through persecution. Satan hopes to cause some like Peter to deny Christ by “turning up the heat.” John was reminded in Revelation 2:10, “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested….”
- Satan attacks the ministry. He detracts people from ministry by spreading pessimism or causing people to doubt whether they can be useful to God. Paul told the Thessalonian church, “Therefore we wanted to come to you– even I, Paul, time and again– but Satan hindered us” (I Thess 2:18).
And this same Satan is the energizer of the Antichrist. Paul tells us about this lawless one and his relationship to the Antichrist – “…the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, & lying wonders” (II Thes 2:9).
People like to ask, “Who will this Antichrist be? Where will he come from?” And in Daniel 8:23-25, we give a profile of what he will look like: “23 And at the latter end of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their limit, a king of bold face, one who understands riddles, shall arise. 24 His power shall be great—but not by his own power; and he shall cause fearful destruction and shall succeed in what he does, and destroy mighty men and the people who are the saints. 25 By his cunning he shall make deceit prosper under his hand, and in his own mind he shall become great. Without warning he shall destroy many. And he shall even rise up against the Prince of princes, and he shall be broken—but by no human hand.”
There are basically 7 characteristics listed of this little horn that fits the figure the Antichrist.
- He will be a king “having fierce features, who understands sinister schemes” (vs. 23c). He comes with lies and he is able to betray all.
- He will have great power (vs. 24a). It will be power that providentially was allowed to exist.
- He will destroy Israel (vs. 24b). He’s given as an instrument of God to inflict punishment upon Hebrews.
- He will increase wickedness in the world (vs. 25a).
- He will exalt himself (vs. 25b).
- He will oppose the Prince of princes (vs. 25c). He is against the Lord – as his name suggests.
- He will be broken in the end (vs. 25d). His kingdom is short and won’t be tolerated for long.
So, if and when this man shows up, look out! Eternity is “right around the corner.”